Trusting the accountant: How emissions reporting is set to change

(EurActiv, 11 Feb 2019) Climate targets only function if countries, cities and companies report their emissions accurately. A new project hopes to show how this reporting should be done, but building trust looks set to play a huge part in overcoming the challenge.

In order to gauge emissions reduction progress, emitters have to declare how much greenhouse gas they are pumping out. At the international level, that process has provoked disagreement, particularly at the UN’s annual climate summits.

At company and sectoral level, emissions accounting is patchy due to a lack of harmonised practices and standards, as well as lack of experience in actually doing it. Logistics experts maintain though that there is huge untapped potential.

A new scheme, the LEARN project, hopes to improve how things are done by offering support to participating companies, developing training courses and engaging a network where best practices can be shared.

During a stocktake last week of the first two years of the project’s operation, research scientist Igor Davydenko said one of its aims is to convince people that “what you are monitoring and reporting is actually correct”.

Accuracy is one thing but it is a challenging task because of the difficulty of reporting emissions, which often involves complex datasets. Davydenko added that this creates a very steep learning curve that can be off-putting.

International Road Transport Union (IRU) adviser Marc Billet warned though that “building trust within the logistics chain” will be needed and sharing data will be impossible without it.

External link

EurActiv, 11 Feb 2019: Trusting the accountant: How emissions reporting is set to change